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Beneficiary Designations in Georgia Estate Planning

Comprehensive Estate Plans exist to ensure that the right parties receive the intended assets at the proper times. This applies to Wills that go into effect upon a person’s death, as well as Trusts that can mandate a transfer of property at any time in the future.

As such, it is important to designate your intended Beneficiaries when creating an Estate Plan. These are the people or entities that will receive your assets at the stated time. However, this process can be more complicated than it at first seems. Some people may not be able to directly inherit property or they may need to pay taxes on assets that decrease their overall value.

As a result, Beneficiary designations in Georgia Estate Planning are an important part of providing for you and your loved one’s futures. Our seasoned attorneys at Nelson Elder Care Law can provide more information concerning this topic and help you to make the right choices for you and your heirs.

Who Cannot Directly Inherit Property in Georgia?

Generally, any party may be a Beneficiary to a Will or a Trust. However, there are limitations to this rule. While adults can fully inherit under most circumstances, children cannot directly inherit property. If a child is an heir under a Will, the court will order that a guardian take temporary ownership of that property and place it into a Trust. This can complicate the inheritance process and result in unnecessary fees and delays.

Naming a charitable entity as a Beneficiary in a Will may also result in unforeseen complications. Especially in older Wills, the charity may no longer exist upon your eventual passing. This could trigger a contingency under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 53-4-62, where a court will make an equitable decision concerning who will inherit funds if a charity is unable to take possession. As a result, Beneficiary designations in Georgia Estate Planning require making the proper choice at the time of the creation of documents as well as keeping the document updated to ensure your heirs can inherit.

Possible Tax Implications for Different Beneficiaries

Even if a party directly inherits as a Beneficiary in Georgia, they may not be able to receive the full benefit of that property. Two common causes for this are Estate Taxes and inheritance taxes. While Georgia no longer has an Estate Tax, many other states and the federal government still do, and citizens of other countries may need to pay these taxes if they inherit assets. This means that if a Beneficiary lives in a place that levies these taxes, this could decrease the overall value of the Estate.

One way to avoid these complications is to limit the value of an Estate that goes into effect through a Will. Placing assets into a Trust that distributes property after your eventual passing decreases the overall value of an Estate. In addition, the Beneficiaries of Trusts may not need to pay taxes on the value of property through a gift tax exclusion. However, they may still need to pay income taxes on the receipt of cash.

Call Our Firm to Learn About Beneficiary Designations in Georgia

A major part of Estate Planning is choosing the parties that will receive your assets. This can occur upon your death or at any point in the future. However, your loved ones may not be able to directly inherit property or could face difficult tax questions depending upon where they live or the value of your Estate.

Our team at Nelson Elder Care Law can help in making proper Beneficiary designations in Georgia Estate Planning. This includes identifying Beneficiaries, explaining how laws may affect their ability to inherit, and how these choices may leave the Estate vulnerable to taxation. Call us today.

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

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